History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Our History

When we sit down with a family, we have just one goal: to create a fitting, memorable and affordable service for their loved one. Together, we explore the wide variety of services and products available, as well as a wealth of creative ideas and suggestions.

Together, we'll design a memorial or funeral service that suits their needs now, and in the future. Families who come to us know that years from now, they will have deep peace-of-mind because in coming to us, they've done their best to honor their loved one.

MMS-Payne has the only privately owned and operated funeral home and crematory in Rogers County to serve our families. 

We do not use an answering service at any time of the day.  Our phones are always answered by one of our experienced staff members. We do not use outside service providers except when absolutely necessary, when you need us your loved one will be cared for personally by our experienced and knowledgeable staff. Your loved one will never leave our care from death to final disposition.

MMS-Payne Funeral Home & Cremation Service is owned by Ryan and Brandi Payne. Three licensed funeral directors and embalmers on the staff: Ryan Payne, Allen McElwain, and Roger Shaffer, the most experienced staff in Rogers County.

Our Valued Staff

  • Ryan Payne

    Ryan Payne, Owner/Funeral Director

    Ryan Payne, a Rogers County native, started working for the Smith’s washing cars and doing yard work. The Catoosa High School graduate worked summers while he was earning a Bachelor's of Mortuary Science at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is married to Brandi Girten and lives in Chelsea. They have three daughters. He is the son of Charlie and Betty Payne of Claremore and Sharon and Jack Sappington of Chelsea. He is a member of the Claremore, Chelsea, and Inola Chamber of Commerce and attends the First United Methodist Church in Claremore. He is an avid hunter and fisherman.

  • Allen McElwain

    Allen McElwain, Funeral Director

    Allen McElwain joined our staff in November 2013. Allen is a lifetime Claremore resident. He graduated from Claremore High School and the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor's in Mortuary Science. He is married to Anne McElwain and they have three sons. He is a member of First United Methodist Church in Claremore.

  • William Guess Leonard

    William Guess Leonard, Funeral Director

    Guess is a Rogers County native, living in Bushyhead the last 20 years. This eager young man started working for MMS-Payne washing the cars and helping with funerals in 2015. He is now a license Funeral Director and Embalmer. Guess is a graduate of Claremore Sequoyah High School in 2016. Guess graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in the spring of 2020 with a bachelor's degree in Funeral Service. Guess is married to Chelsea ( Allen) Leonard, they made their home in Bushyhead. He is the son of Wade and Sammy (Copp) Leonard of Claremore. The grandson of Johnny and Linda Leonard of Claremore, Jerry and Tracy Copp and Billie and Tom Stiedley all of Claremore. Guess is an avid Team Roper and outdoorsman.

  • Timalyn Parks

    Timalyn Parks, Family Service Representative

    Timalyn is a longtime resident of Rogers County. She has been married for 24 years to Tim Parks who has lived in Chelsea his whole life. Together they have 3 children: Andrew and his wife Caselyn, Abigail, and Austin all of Chelsea. Timalyn is an active member of her church, participating in several different groups. She loves spending time with her family, cooking and going sight seeing. Timalyn counts it an honor to help families who are in need at such a difficult time.

  • Susan Bickford

    Susan Bickford, Chelsea Funeral Home Office Manager

    Susan Bickford has been the Office Manager at Chelsea Funeral Home and Crematory since 2003. She considers it a privilege to be able to help comfort grieving families. Susan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Rogers State College. She is a wife and mother who is actively involved with her family, church and community.

  • Sharon Moody

    Sharon Moody, Inola Funeral Home Office Manager

    Sharon is a native Oklahoman and has called Claremore home for over forty years. She attended school in Tulsa. She was a former manufacturer representative in sales and marketing but now loves serving the families at MMS-Payne Funeral Homes. She joined MMS-Payne in 2014. She is married to Jack, has three sons, Brian and his wife Kim, Chris and his wife Tina and Chad and his wife Jill as well as eight grandchildren. She is a member of Claremore First Baptist Church in Claremore. Sharon loves travel, family and crafts.

  • Debbie (Miller) Ward

    Debbie (Miller) Ward, Service Assistant

    Debbie is a life long Rogers County resident. She graduated from Pryor High School. She has been married for thirty years to Joel Ward, Tulsa Police officer and retired Colonel with the 45th Infantry Division of the Oklahoma National Guard.
    Debbie is the mother of three boys and nana of one. She is an active member of Memorial Heights Baptist Church.
    Debbie enjoys working in her yard, reading, and cooking. She loves meeting new people, and being entrusted with the care of families in need.